November 2011 Moms

NBR: Luxury vehicle question

I think a few weeks back someone posted about wanting a new mommy-mobile.  If I remember correctly (my memory varies, these days), many of you had *what I'd consider* luxury brand vehicles.  Mercedes, Lexus, Volvo, etc.  I thought maybe you could help me/offer insight.

My question is, do you find the features, quality, etc is worth the extra money.  I'm in the market for a new vehicle.  I have my eye on a Cadillac SRX.  Beautiful, I absolutely love everything about it!  CAN I afford it?  Sure.  The question is SHOULD I?  I'm having a problem justifying spending that much on a vehicle.

Re: NBR: Luxury vehicle question

  • We bought the 2010 equinox when it first came out and loved it! Fully stocked with dvd player, and a sun roof. Was it necessary to buy a new car, NO. But we figured buying a brand new car will last us for many years.. Unless we get into a car accident again.....heavon forbid that!!!

    I think spending  a little extra on a vehicle is very worth it.

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  • MrzHozMrzHoz
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    I have had my Mercedes for about 5 years now, and although I have thoroughly enjoyed the luxury aspects of it; the car is starting to become a money hogging machine.. The repairs, tires, etc. are really adding up, and we are planning on buying a family car this summer, and I don't think I will go the luxury route this time. We will keep the Mercedes for the weekends and get something more pratical for everyday.

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  • I bought the loaded Ford Edge.  The one thing I hate is the nav system.  I have an iphone and it's easier to use google maps than my nav systme in the car. 

     I love my power lift gate, sunroof, heated seats....totally worth it.

    HATE the super big, fancy wheels. 

    EDIT to add: it's expensive to replace the tires too....that's going to hurt come fall time.

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  • You really have a lot of questions for yourself here. To answer your question, yes I think its absolutely worth the extra money. I LOVE my Volvo and wouldn't go back to my previous Chevy vehicle after experiencing it. However, we didn't buy the car brand new. Brand new cars just aren't worth it to me anymore. We go with a vehicle that's 1-2 years old. I love my car's features and the safety factors. It's a great brand that's been around for a long time. Anymore, and I'm kinda favoring foreign car companies (most hold their value a lot longer, as well as wear and tear). IMO, Cadillac has lost touch with it's style. I really hate the new body styles they're rolling out these days. But that's certainly your call.
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  • i do the the extra features are worth the money. i don't have a mercedes, but i have a fully-loaded honda pilot; leather, sun-roof, navi, xm radio, dvd player, etc. i LOVE it and it was worth every penny! i looked at it this way.. if i get everything i want in this car, i'll be less tempted to "upgrade" in a few years when i get car fever. and so far, its worked. i'll drive my SUV until the freakin' wheels fall off.

    my only concern with a luxury vehicle is the repairs are more expensive and you may have to drive a ways to get it serviced if the dealership isn't close by. before H and i were married and i was looking for a "me car" i almost bought a bmw but didn't want to worry about driving 45 minutes to the dealership for oil changes and such.. and god forbid, if i ever wrecked it, the cost of repairs would be astronomical.

    if the cadillac srx is what you want and you can afford it, i say go for it!

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  • I think that is a very personal decision.

    We drive a 2010 Acura TL, very nice we love it.  However we only drive on the weekends as we take public transportation to work every day.  For us the decision was based on the fact that we wanted a car that we both enjoyed driving.  We never have felt the need to justify purchasing it to ourselves or anyone else.  

    Foreign cars can cost more to maintain, but at the end of the day they last a lot longer, and have fewer manufacturing issues.   Just know what you are signing yourself up for before you purchase.  Someone mentioned that their Mercedes cost a fortune service.  That is the exact reason I would never purchase one.  

  • I have two vehicles.  A Lexus and a Ford.  The Lexus is a smaller car and the Ford is an Explorer.

    I am probably never going to own a car that isn't considered a "luxury" vehicle again.  I loved my explorer, until I got my Lexus.  The ride is smoother, it's quieter, the standard features are a lot higher quality than the standard features on a Ford.  Plus (this is silly, but it's true), buying from a high end dealer is totally different than buying from a Ford or Chevy dealer.  IMO you're treated differently.  Plus, a lot of times you can get free maintenance plans for 3 or 4 years on your higher end vehicles.  I won't have to ever pay for an oil change on mine because I will probably trade it in after 4 years on something new.

    BUT I will say if you can't afford to buy something from a higher end dealer (or if it would put you in a sticky money situation), you shouldn't.  Fords and Chevys are great quality.  I've just become a car snob. 


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  • I had to get a new car (used/new/whatever), SO we looked at a brand new toyota highlander and venza. We then looked into the new Hondas. We got a price up on all of them. After that the dealerships were getting on my nerves... I wanted to go home, DH wanted to go to the Mercedes dealer. I explained that it was impossible...we could not afford a Mercedes... Guess what... They run the same as a brand new Toyota loaded, or Honda and drive and feel better. Just something about a smooth ride and the inside of the car looking like its made with care. I spend a significant amount of time in my vehicle, and at the end of the day the cost of a 2 year old Merc. and keeping my Crossfire (which I was going to have to sell for a NEW car) is the same price as a brand new Toyota Highlander or Honda Crosstour. I think its worth it... the warranty is great, and my husbands a mechanic though, so that should cover a decent amount in costs

  • image RedCamaro:
    You really have a lot of questions for yourself here. To answer your question, yes I think its absolutely worth the extra money. I LOVE my Volvo and wouldn't go back to my previous Chevy vehicle after experiencing it. However, we didn't buy the car brand new. Brand new cars just aren't worth it to me anymore. We go with a vehicle that's 1-2 years old. I love my car's features and the safety factors. It's a great brand that's been around for a long time. Anymore, and I'm kinda favoring foreign car companies (most hold their value a lot longer, as well as wear and tear). IMO, Cadillac has lost touch with it's style. I really hate the new body styles they're rolling out these days. But that's certainly your call.

    i agree. my car was a year and a half old when i bought it. its a little more tedious to search out every feature you want and colors but the search is well worth it because someone else has already taken the big hit of depreciation after driving it off the lot. FWIW, it looked brand new inside and out! you would never know it was used.

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  • image HokieLaw:

    I have two vehicles.  A Lexus and a Ford.  The Lexus is a smaller car and the Ford is an Explorer.

    I am probably never going to own a car that isn't considered a "luxury" vehicle again.  I loved my explorer, until I got my Lexus.  The ride is smoother, it's quieter, the standard features are a lot higher quality than the standard features on a Ford.  Plus (this is silly, but it's true), buying from a high end dealer is totally different than buying from a Ford or Chevy dealer.  IMO you're treated differently.  Plus, a lot of times you can get free maintenance plans for 3 or 4 years on your higher end vehicles.  I won't have to ever pay for an oil change on mine because I will probably trade it in after 4 years on something new.

    BUT I will say if you can't afford to buy something from a higher end dealer (or if it would put you in a sticky money situation), you shouldn't.  Fords and Chevys are great quality.  I've just become a car snob. 

    I think the difference is the type of vehicle that you drive, not whether it is luxury or not.  A ford explorer is not meant to be a smooth ride. I have the new ford edge and its the best driving vehicle I have ever driven (including a car).  I also got 0% interest, not sure luxury car companies are willing to give that up.

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  • This sounds bad... I have a Mercedes, and everytime I get in my car it makes me smile because it is such a nice car. When I pay this car off I plan on getting a Mercedes station wagon or a BMW station wagon. we have a dealer in town, so maintenance isn't an issue. We also have a little toy kompressor convertible we drive around in the summer, so fun, and worth it.
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  • We just purchased a used nissan xterra. We didn't want to buy new and luxurious car because right now we need a car that can take a beating. My DD is 6 and with LO on the way, I'm sure it's not going to be the cleanest car. Once the kids are a bit older, then i'll purchase a new luxury vehicle. I wouldn't want Capri Sun wrappers and goldfish cracker bits in the back seat of my new Lexus or Mercedes.
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  • To me, vehicles just aren't worth spending that much on for a few reasons:

    I don't always like the upgrades (I HATE my leather seats: ridiculously hot and crazy sticky in the summer and ice cold and hard in the winter).  My sunroof has the shade over it most days because the sun usually gets in my eyes and hinders my driving abilities.  (Those came with the car I bought and I did not seek those out as 'must haves")

    I live in WI so salt damage is a real concern in winter.  Also, a greater possibility of an accident driving on the ice and snow.  Many expensive vehicles are even more expensive to fix ... especially foreign cars.

    Cars get old quickly.  They rack up in miles fast and most often aren't meant to last more than 6 or 7 years.  So not only are you driving an expensive vehicle that is losing value and fast, but you are also spending $30 - $40K plus on a car that you'll only have for a few years.  I'd rather put that $ towards my house where I would have much more equity.

    If I am going to spend more on a car, it's going to be for features like all wheel drive, or and ABS system - things that add to my safety.  I could give a crap about DVD players, navigation systems, and the like as those are extras that I can get on my own without paying dealership prices for.

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  • image RedCamaro:

    You really have a lot of questions for yourself here. To answer your question, yes I think its absolutely worth the extra money. I LOVE my Volvo and wouldn't go back to my previous Chevy vehicle after experiencing it. However, we didn't buy the car brand new. Brand new cars just aren't worth it to me anymore. We go with a vehicle that's 1-2 years old. I love my car's features and the safety factors. It's a great brand that's been around for a long time. Anymore, and I'm kinda favoring foreign car companies (most hold their value a lot longer, as well as wear and tear). IMO, Cadillac has lost touch with it's style. I really hate the new body styles they're rolling out these days. But that's certainly your call.

    I agree. My dad has always told me as soon as you drive a brand new car off the lot, the value drops. Also every brand new car my parents have owned has been in an accident, I'm afraid of this curse.

    In 2009 I bought a 2003 Ford Explorer. This honestly was my dream SUV since I could remember and I got a really good deal on it. It has 3rd row seating and a dvd player ( I was looking toward the future Wink ) and I can honestly say that it is the best vehicle I have ever owned (this is my 6th).

     

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  • I've owned a Ford, GM, and now a BMW X3. Honestly, I'll never own anything but a BMW again. For me, it's not about how nice it is on the inside. I'd say it lives up to its rep as a "driver's car" instead of luxury. Yes, the inside is nice leather, but the rest is not luxurious like a Mercedes or Lexus. What I adore are the safety features and the general solidity of the car.

    I can drive the speed limit in a Southern rainstorm on the interstate while everyone else is crawling along at 40 mph with their flashers on and never hydroplane. I have never, ever in the 5 years I've had it felt even an inkling of a fishtail when taking a corner on slick pavement. We were in MO for the blizzard this year and it was ridiculous how amazing it was on the snow and ice. Crash tests are one thing, but handling on luxury vehicles to help you avoid a crash are completely different IMO. My biggest fear is being rear-ended because the brakes are hard core badass. Plus, they come with free maintenance for 4 years/50k miles and the certified pre-owned ones go up to 6 years/100k miles with free maintenance.

    Best car I've ever owned, hands down, and when I finally drive the wheels off of it, I'll be back to buy another one.

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  • I go back and forth on this.  DH drives and Acura, I drive a Toyota.  When it's time for me to buy a new car I think he would like to get me an Acura or Cadillac SUV (family car).  While I love luxury features and the idea of driving a luxury car, the practical me says that I should go with another Toyota or a GMC.  A car is really a poor investment, it looses value every single day and the nicer the car the more expensive it is to maintain.  Also, the idea of a kid or two trashing my $40-50K car is hard to stomach.  Safety is incredibly important but are the safety features available really that different in a standard vehicle and a luxury vehicle?  I don't know, but I doubt it.  Like you, we could afford whatever we want, but do I really want to?  I don't know, it will be a game time decision.

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  • The SRX is a great car!  It's one that I'm considering trading my 2-door Volvo in for (sniff-sniff) when the time comes. 

    I like to drive.  I'm very much into cars and motorcycles, and I always have been.  The little extras are nice to have.  I'm not going to lie, at this point in my life, if it doesn't have heated seats, I'm probably not going to like it.  But, the responsiveness of the car means more to me than whatever badge is on it. 

    I didn't buy my Volvo because it's "luxury," I bought it because it's a bat out of hell that handles like a dream.  To be honest, I don't really consider Volvo a luxury brand.  I considered it a safety car and thought it was hilarious how much I loved kicking @ss in the C30 on the test drive.  Since it is a Volvo, I have yet to get pulled over in it, too.  Some of that may be due to the fact that I drive more tame now that I have a baby growing in me, though.

    My big advice for luxury cars is to buy USED.  Brand new luxury cars are awesome, but also cost too much for what you get, imo. 

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  • Thanks ladies, I appreciate your input.  Of course, I know it's up to DH and I and how we want to spend our money.  I wasn't looking for anyone to TELL me to buy it or not.  Just looking for others ideas on if they felt it was worth the extra money for the perks.  I've looked into the gas mileage, safety specs, etc on it and I'm happy with it that way.  I wouldn't look into a car at all that didn't meet that criteria first and foremost.
  • I think it is your choice of how you want to spend/save your money.  I personally don't need to die with millions of dollars in the bank- i dont' need to be broke either.  So DH and I like to be at what we call our "happy spot" of buying or spluging on things we like but dont' need ie luxury cars, vacations, perhaps a bigger house and then put money into savings or other investments.  Have you followed Suzie O at all?  I think she is fabulous and I personally like her views on money and spending.
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  • I drive a Lexus ES350 and absolutelty love it. Hubby drives a Nissan Exterra which we are selling for another vehicle with third row. We are sticking with a Lexus again and buying a GX.

    I have to say..is it worth the money??? probably not. It all depends on what your looking for and what your used to. The ride in my Lexus is unsurpassed. You literally cant feel a single bump.

    My uncle just bought a Chevy SUV Crossover and he loves it. We also love our Nissan and we are only selling because we need a third row.

    You have to evulaute your budget and what your looking for in a vehicle. If you have the money for a luxury and will be using it alot, then buy it. Otherwise, if its just a vehicle to run errands, then it is not worth it to buy Luxury. Remember one thing, most foreign cars will outlast American versions. At least in my opinion. There are some exceptions, however this is the overall consensus.     

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  • I have a Range Rover, and while I really like it, I don't think I'd buy one again.  It always has something wrong with it!  It would be so crazy expensive to keep it running if not for the 4 year warranty (which runs out next year)

     It only takes 91 octane gas, and even though it is paid for, I would estimate the upkeep without warranty is 3-6K/year.

    I feel like non-luxury cars are getting cooler with all the new technology thats coming out, so I'll probably just get something like a Tahoe or a Yukon next.

     

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  • I see that a lot of people brought up the cost of repairs.  You can compare and contrast the cost of ownership (including repairs) on edumuds.com.  The other really important thing to remember is that a "luxury" vehicle produced in the US (like Cadillac) is typically much cheaper for repairs than those produced only in Europe because those parts are also only produced in Europe.

    If it's the car you want and you've done your research then I'm sure you'll be happy with the purchase!

  • Check with consumer reports. We bought a used 2005 Acura TL 3 years ago (we love it). When we were shopping we were very shocked to see how many cars did not rate that great in safety, resale value, cost of maintenance, and customer satisfaction. The ratings changed year to year in the same model. That helped us narrow down the choices and then we went and test drove. Hope that helps!
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  • Hated my Mercedes, celebrated when we traded out of it. Loved my Volvo, they have GREAT safety features and last forever. However, I really want an Acura, Lexus, Toyota or Honda. They are all really safe, hold their value well and last forever. We have had Acura's and Honda's before (both did exceptional when in accidents), hubby has a Toyota now and loves it and my sister did well in her Toyota after a bad accident. I really want a Lexus, but the upkeep is more expensive than the other options. I've had friends with BMW's and they liked them more than Mercedes. Had a friend with a Cadillac that switched to Acura and is much happier. In my opinion you can find an amazing safe car with a million features for less than some of the other luxury brands so do a lot of research. Our Mercedes brakes were $800 and Infiniti brakes are even more while Volvo, Toyota and Acura are 1/4 the cost.

  • image Jules08:

    To me, vehicles just aren't worth spending that much on for a few reasons:

    I don't always like the upgrades (I HATE my leather seats: ridiculously hot and crazy sticky in the summer and ice cold and hard in the winter).  My sunroof has the shade over it most days because the sun usually gets in my eyes and hinders my driving abilities.  (Those came with the car I bought and I did not seek those out as 'must haves")

    I live in WI so salt damage is a real concern in winter.  Also, a greater possibility of an accident driving on the ice and snow.  Many expensive vehicles are even more expensive to fix ... especially foreign cars.

    Cars get old quickly.  They rack up in miles fast and most often aren't meant to last more than 6 or 7 years.  So not only are you driving an expensive vehicle that is losing value and fast, but you are also spending $30 - $40K plus on a car that you'll only have for a few years.  I'd rather put that $ towards my house where I would have much more equity.

    If I am going to spend more on a car, it's going to be for features like all wheel drive, or and ABS system - things that add to my safety.  I could give a crap about DVD players, navigation systems, and the like as those are extras that I can get on my own without paying dealership prices for.

    I would say for most cars this isn't true. I paid $15K for my used 4runner, completely loaded 2 years ago. It will be paid off in a year. The current value is somewhere around $10K. So I will have basically paid $5K to drive a really nice car for 4 years. Thats worth it to me. It will be a nice down payment when we upgrade in a few years.

    I will say-that before I had the 4runner, I drove a '98 Camry. Sold it in '09, with 200,000 miles on it for $2500. Considering the original cost of the car was $11K, thats not bad. Sure they depreciate....but there is no public transportation where I am at, and I spend around an hour in my car every day. Its worth it to me to spend a few extra bucks, and get a loaded vehicle. But different strokes for different folks :)

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  • image jessicacmiel:
    image HokieLaw:

    I have two vehicles.  A Lexus and a Ford.  The Lexus is a smaller car and the Ford is an Explorer.

    I am probably never going to own a car that isn't considered a "luxury" vehicle again.  I loved my explorer, until I got my Lexus.  The ride is smoother, it's quieter, the standard features are a lot higher quality than the standard features on a Ford.  Plus (this is silly, but it's true), buying from a high end dealer is totally different than buying from a Ford or Chevy dealer.  IMO you're treated differently.  Plus, a lot of times you can get free maintenance plans for 3 or 4 years on your higher end vehicles.  I won't have to ever pay for an oil change on mine because I will probably trade it in after 4 years on something new.

    BUT I will say if you can't afford to buy something from a higher end dealer (or if it would put you in a sticky money situation), you shouldn't.  Fords and Chevys are great quality.  I've just become a car snob. 

    I think the difference is the type of vehicle that you drive, not whether it is luxury or not.  A ford explorer is not meant to be a smooth ride. I have the new ford edge and its the best driving vehicle I have ever driven (including a car).  I also got 0% interest, not sure luxury car companies are willing to give that up.

    I do agree an explorer isn't "meant" to be a smooth ride, but I've also driven luxury brand SUVs (when I get my Lexus serviced, they always put me in one of the larger Lexus SUVs) and they drive a lot smoother than my Explorer ever has.

    Last night MH decided it's time to get rid of the Explorer.  So now I'm trying to decide if I want the Lexus SUV or if I want to go with a different brand. 

    Oh, and when I bought my Lexus, the dealership I went through gave us 0% financing.  They only do it at certain times of the year, and only certain dealerships can do it, but they will give it.


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